It’s the fear we all have, but don’t really know how to overcome. We don’t want to get replaced at our job by someone brighter and younger. This is especially true for women who go off and have children but then decide to return to work. Since they have been away from work for up to a year or more, their employer who has given them paternity leave, can’t put them back in the same position. It’s easy and lazy to say this is discrimination, but actually, just like anyone else who has been out of work for a prolonged period of time, you simply don’t possess all the skills anymore. The world of work progresses at an alarming rate. New programs, new contracts, new customers, new branding styles, new markets, etc, are continuously changing each and every business. Just as a man could not come back to the same position he had before he took a gap year off from work, neither can women. But what you can do is retrain yourself and don’t wait to be put into tests by your employer and then fail them. It’s better to learn new skills than to be replaced.
Aim high, aim true
What kind of profession do you have? What kind of skills and attributes do you bring to the table? Where would you like you to go in terms of the career ladder? Answer these questions straight and true and then you can acknowledge which direction you need to be pointing in to learn new skills. Look at the current crop of skills that are being used at your job and or company. This might be that a new program has been implemented in the office and it will be the future of the company for the near future. You could not only learn that program but learn at least one other similar program also. In your spare time, you can buy the program online, begin watching online tutorials and becoming proficient at that program also. This takes time but it’s all in your hands. Dedicate 30 minutes or an hour to it every day, and within a month or so, you will have already surpassed your coworkers. Then immediately update your CV to include the new skill you have learned.
New equipment is always being issued to employees at every company. It could be something as unimportant as new office chairs, or it could be a brand new printer. On the other hand, if your work is requiring the use of mechanical equipment then you can opt to take professional tests to acquire the qualifications to use them before your colleagues can. One such example is a forklift license test that has 8 different machines included. These machines are evolving just like everything else, and their new systems need to be learned before they can be operated. Usually, companies have rotas they put employees on to train people in batches. But you can go out of your way and become accredited to use new equipment thus skipping ahead of the line.
Every employee should never ever rest on their hands and think that they can never be replaced. CEOs and directors can be replaced so why can’t you? Learn new skills and stay one step ahead of all your colleagues.